Seeing eye-dog Drummer and Tony

by bqmedia

By Carmel Gibb, BQ Director

Carmel would like to introduce Tony Tully, from Club Helensvale.

Tony was born Charles Anthony Tully in England in 1963. He has four siblings; however, he is the only bowler. Tony has lived in Australia for 22 years and is married with six children.

Tony’s working life started with the Military in Ireland, followed by the London Ambulance Service for 10 years. When he moved to Australia, Tony worked on timber bridge construction with the Main Roads Department. When Tony was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic eye condition that causes cells in the retina to degenerate slowly and progressively, Tony retrained for admin duties with the Gold Coast City Council and worked there for just over 10 years.

Tony has been bowling for almost 12 months, although he has been a social member with Club Helensvale for the past 17 years. He took up bowls out of curiosity; he asked a mate for a roll-up and got six out of eight bowls on the jack and he was hooked.

Drummer, Tony’s seeing eye dog, goes everywhere with him. Everyone loves Drummer and, according to Tony, all the ladies and girls talk to Drummer before saying hello to Tony!

When asked what he would like to achieve during his bowling career, Tony replied, “to enter as many Australian tournaments as possible”. He’s going for gold.

When asked what he found difficult about being a bowler with a vision-impairment, Tony advised that organising transport to events can be an issue. Also, finding a mark a couple of metres in front to bowl to is another obstacle when you can’t see that far.

This year, Tony was crowned the ‘Most Improved Bowler of the Year’ at Club Helensvale, for which he was very surprised and grateful.